After spending a couple years in a dorm, finally having a kitchen is potentially the most exciting part of moving into an on-campus apartment. This excitement can momentarily cloud your judgement however, and give you false expectations of the challenges of cooking in small cramped quarters with limited equipment.
Even the most prepared students frequently meet a sticky end when it comes to cooking in a dorm. The truth? It usually doesn’t end in an Insta-worthy meal. This is why you have dining hall points. You’ve heard of the five stages of grief – well, here are the 11 stages of coming to the realization that you can’t cook a perfect dinner in a kitchenette.
1. The overconfidence
Yes, I’m gonna make the best four-course meal my roommate has ever tasted. Maybe the dining hall will even hire me. I’ll become famous campus-wide. The cute boy next door will finally notice me. What could go wrong?
2. The search for a recipe
Do you think I can make my great grandmother’s apple pie without an oven? Oh, maybe Pinterest has something good… *Cue scrolling* Oh god I can’t stop. Is there a limit to this? Maybe if the cooking thing doesn’t work out, I can become a professional Pinterest-er. Pinterest-ist?
3. The grocery shopping
I need a pinch of what? *Immediately calls mom* Which aisle would I find cumin in anyway? Scratch that, is a pinch of anything really necessary? Am I even gonna taste it?
4. The realization you lack utensils
Do you think I can use my blow dryer as a mixer? A flat iron is a heat source, right? Maybe I should tell someone what I’m doing so they know where to look for me when this goes terribly wrong.
5. The assembly of ingredients
I can totally do this, and it’s even more impressive ’cause I improvised. Psh, people say this is hard? Why don’t I cook every meal in my dorm?
6. The waiting
7. The impatience
How will I know if it’s done? It’s only been 12 minutes, but maybe it’s done. I should probably check on it. What if it’s burning? Just a small peek won’t hurt anything.
8. The panic
Oh my god. Is it supposed to look like that? Definitely not. Oh wow. Guys, can you come look at this? Is it supposed to be oozing everywhere like that?
9. The cleanup
You’re saying that I don’t get to eat anything delicious AND I’m responsible for this giant mess I just made? How does one even clean the BOTTOM of an oven? It’s like, really crusted on there. It might just have to stay there. It’ll be a constant reminder of my failure.
10. The declaration
I am eating out the rest of these four years. This is the last time I ever attempt to cook in my dorm (for this week at least). A person can live on Chipotle alone, I’m sure of it.
11. The rebound
Hey, this recipe looks good and I haven’t had a home-cooked meal in forever, plus I’m tired of always having to pay extra for guac. Maybe I’ll try cooking again…